7 Nights North to South Cruise
Kerala River Cruise
Kochi to Alleppey
The river cruise takes you through wide lakes, flowing rivers, narrow canals and tranquil lakes with many villages on its banks that are only connected by water. Life is all on these waterways with people commuting in wooden dugout canoes where school children, traders and fidhermen all mingle together to make the voyage through the bustling waters both colourful and very exciting.
Visit temples, churches, market places, traditional dance and martial art schools and ayurvedic medicine centres. Meet the elephants of Kerala and take a canoe ride through the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Experience how coir making is done and how, traditional wooden boats are built by stitching the planks of wood together with coir rope. A really delightful tropical river cruise on warm waters with a lot of sun bathing and lazing as you sail towering twenty feet above the paddy fields in canals held together by dykes or, along the Arabian Sea where the setting sun splashes the endless waters with a bright orange glow.
Fare Starting 2,400$ per cabin
Day 1: Embarkation at Marad, Cochin
This morning from your hotel drive to the nearby village Nettoor to a Kalari centre – the authentic training centre of Kalaripayattu, the traditional martial art of Kerala said to have been the origin of all martial arts including Karate. Drive to the nearby village Marad and embark on our boat by noon. The team on-board welcomes you in the boat and help’s you with smooth check-in. Gather at the lounge for a safety briefing about the boat and about the cruise. We set sail, gently cruising by the islands interspersed along rivers, lake, coastal estuaries and lagoons, leaving the skyscraper lined horizon of the city of Cochin behind. Enjoy a traditional Kerala lunch and relax on-board.
Our expert will talk about Cochin, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, and its geographical, cultural and social significance.
By evening we arrive in the ancient village, Vaikom. By tuk-tuk or by foot we proceed to the ancient temple of Shiva. We take a tour around the temple to get to know about its history and architecture. The architecture of temples in Kerala is based on ancient science of construction and geographical features of the land. As per the traditional architecture, each element of temple represents an element of human body and, a temple is not only the space for spiritual enlightenment but also the venue for harmonious social networking. Return to boat. After dinner, we retire for the night.
Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 2: Vaikom-Chenganda-Kumarakom
After breakfast on the boat,by tuk-tuk or by foot we proceed to the cultural centre in the locality to watch the traditional dance performance – Kathakali, the traditional dramatic and mimetic dance form, which plays stories from epics. It is a unique blend of dance, music, action, literature and make-up.
Commence the cruise to Chenganda village. The people of this rustic village are having a laid-back and peaceful life. Spend time with the coir weavers, the shell harvesters and farmers, engaging in conversation about the riparian life and watching various indigenous techniques of fishing. Return to the boat for lunch.
Cruise through Thanneermukkom barrage. The barrage at Thanneermukkom built across Vembanad, the largest lake of Kerala, divides the lake into two, one half with perennial salty water and the other with fresh water enriched by 5 rivers flowing from the hills. We talk about indigenous practices of paddy cultivation in Kuttanad
Cruise through the expanses of lake Vembanad experiencing its wetland ecosystem. We visit a farm house by evening.This house is located on an island which was made by the men of the house, by reclaiming land from the Backwaters. A walk in the farm will be educative. The hostess will demonstrate the preparation of traditional Syrian Christian cuisine. You may also try your hand at cooking and listen to the story of her family, of three generations of hard working men, and equally strong women who supported their pioneering spirit. We will have dinner at this house. Return to the boat and retire for the night.
Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 3: Kumarakom- Kavalam
Having an early and light breakfast, we set out by country boat to watch the migratory and endemic birds of the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which is a cluster of lagoons of lake Vembanad, with the backdrop of mangroves, paddy fields and coconut groves.
Waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck are some of the endemic species seen here. Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Return to the boat, refresh and while cruising a more elaborate breakfast will be served.
While cruising the lake we get a glimpse of the rich wetland ecosystem of Lake Vembanad. Lunch will be served while cruising. We arrive in Kavalam where river Pampa reverses its course and drain into Lake Vembanad. You may take the ferry to explore the region, walk along the dykes surrounding the expanses of paddy fields and interact with the farmers and women’s collective.. Return to the boat and cruise till dusk, further interior to Veliyanad village. After dinner retire for the night.
Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 4: Kavalam-Kainakari-Pulinkunnu
After breakfast cruise to Kainakari. We visit Chavara Bhavan, the ancestral home of the Catholic Saint Kuriakose Chavara which is now preserved as a museum. Saint Chavara, the first canonized Catholic male saint of Indian origin, was the co-founder of the first congregation for men, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate-C.M.I., and of a similar one for women, Congregation of the Mother of Carmel-C.M.C.
Return to boat. After having lunch on-board, cruise to Pulinkunnu village. Get closer to the laid-back, yet harmonious, life along the way, paddling along narrow canal by country boat, interacting with the villagers. Return to the boat for dinner and overnight.
Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 5: Pulinkunnu-Nedumudy-Champakkulam-Changankari
After breakfast, cruise to Nedumudi. On arrival at Nedumudi we drive through the quaint and scenic villages for a little over one hour to Mannar, which is famous for bell metal and brassware crafts. We interact with the artisans and watch the indigenous method of casting of traditional lamps, utensils and ornate locks. Return, refresh and have lunch and relax on-board.
We cruise to Champakulam village. Kerala’s old spice trade used to pass through this town en route to Cochin and other ports on the west coast. Settled more than 1000 years ago by Syrian Christian traders, who later converted to Roman Catholicism under the Portuguese, the people chose to keep their syncretic cultural heritage.
This can be seen in the monumental St Mary’s Church on the riverside. Built in 1550, the foundations are said to be as old as 5th century AD. Architecturally, it is a mélange of several European styles, from the Levantine altar and structure to the Dutch arches that tower overhead.
We visit the old church, a school, the local artisans (open on weekdays) who skillfully and passionately craft biblical heroes. Take a look at the narrow and long Snake boat (Chundan Vallom) of the villagers, gracefully docked on the shore. These types of boats, which are being used for races today in modern days, were once maritime war boats and their structure and design reflect the prowess of ancient Kerala architecture and are one of the icons of Kerala culture. Over one hundred oarsmen power these boats in races where they sail at speed generated to the beats of drums at the aft.
Cruise to Changankary village till dusk, passing through the serene canals. You may relax on board or take a walk. After dinner retire for the night.
Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 6: Excursion from Changankari.
After having early breakfast, we drive to the prosperous and picturesque midland to Konni village (You may have to wait near a railway crossing if the train is delayed), at the backdrop of the forest. Spend time with elephants at a shelter camp. Elephants are integral part of Kerala culture. It is the State animal and is featured on the State’s emblem. Pageant of gold caparisoned elephants accompanied with percussions is the highlight of all temple festivals in Kerala.
Proceed to Aranmula village which is home to a family of craftsmen who are skilled at making mirror out of a special combination of metals. The secret of the trade has been passed down through generations. These mirrors have the distinctive feature of 100% reflection unlike the common mirror. Local people consider it as auspicious to keep it at home to attract prosperity and luck.
We visit the mirror makers and watch the different stages of their work.
The ancient temple of Krishna, snake boat building, the mural art, the school of traditional architecture are the other highlights of this old village of heritage value.
Lunch will be arranged at a local house of beautiful architecture, located on the bank of Pampa, the holy river for the locals. The host will talk about the art of snake boat building and the ritualistic annual regatta in Aranmula.
Arrive in Thottappalli village by evening. After refreshment, cruise through the picturesque and serene interiors. We take a leisurely walk to the beach. Return to boat. After dinner retire for the night.
Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 7: Thottappalli-Karumadi-Kanjippadom
Today we will have early breakfast and take a short drive to visit an ancient sacred grove near Harripad where serpents are worshipped. This is the only temple in Kerala having female priests. You can take walk inside and see the rituals going on. Return to Thottappalli.
Honoring your cruise with us, we plant a coconut sapling for the village. Coconut tree is considered as the ‘Kalpavriksha ‘or Divine tree of Kerala. All parts of coconut tree are useful in one way or the other: the water inside is a healthy drink; the fresh kernel and the oil extract from dried kernel are inevitable components of every cuisine; fiber from the coconut husk is used to make coir, mats and geotextile; the palm fronds are used for thatching roof; the wood suitable for making furniture and all the dried parts of coconut make good firewood. Last but not the least, the toddy – the local alcoholic beverage that boost for the laborers after toiling in the fields.
After a leisurely sail we arrive in a quaint village – Karumadi village.We take a walk around a small shrine preserving the ruin of a sculpture of Buddha that belongs to the early centuries of current era.Along the way we interact with toddy tappers, who collect the sap of the stem of blossoming coconut flower and make the alcoholic beverage–Toddy. We learn from him the process of making toddy and may take a sip from his pot!
We visit the village Kanjippadom for a leisurely walk. We meet the carpenters at the boat building yard and talk about the traditional method of building wooden boats (Kettuvallom), joining wooden planks using coir, cotton and natural resin. Tonight we celebrate our sojourn over farewell dinner on board RV Vaikundam.
Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 8: Kanjippadom-Punnamada & Disembark at Alleppey.
After breakfast we cruise to Punnamada lake.This lake is the venue of the annual spectacular race of Snake boats of different villages of Alleppey and its neighboring places on 2nd Saturday of the month of August. We disembark by 9.30 AM. After taking a walk through the market place of Alleppey, depart for onward journey.
Meal plan (B)
All Entrance Fees
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
Available with Wifi Dongle
By Air-conditioned Vehicles and Local Tuk-tuk
7 night Package Price Per Cabin
Request for Reservation and Quote
- All bookings are subject to availability and terms and condition.
- Cruise Check-In 1400 hours, Check-out time 1200 NOON
- As the first operation on this itinerary will be undertaken in end Sep 2019. The itinerary might need to be amended with minor modification post the first launch, exploratory cruise departure.
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